You Are the Designer of Your Life

We often believe that people, circumstances and situations outside of ourselves are responsible for shaping the course of our lives. If we get a certain job…then life will be awesome.

If we marry a certain person…then we’ll be happy.


And when we place those conditions on ourselves, we find ourselves constantly harboring the desire, but usually our mind is racing around the negative track instead of the positive one. Usually we’re thinking- “oh, how I want that job, and there’s no way I can get it.”


“I would do anything for her/him to give me the time of day, but s/he’s out of my league. What am I thinking?

So we constantly talk ourselves out of our greatest dreams and desires.

And we wonder why life won’t give us what we truly want.

Our job in this life is to be the designer of our lives. And there are many stories of people who set their mind in a determined fashion and accomplished what they set out to do. Why them? And why not you?

Are they smarter? No

Are they prettier? No

Do they have more luck? No

Do they live a charmed life where everything goes their way? Yes


Because they dream of their desires with dogged determination.

An elite athlete doesn’t take no for an answer; doesn’t see weakness in his/her body. They just train and train and train both body and mind to accomplish their dreams.

A performer, a musician, a tech mogul, a billionaire– none of them started that way. They all have the same things in common with us; they’re human and wear their pants one leg at a time just like you and I.

So what sets them apart?

Single-minded focus.

The inability to see their dream fail.

For them, there’s no question, beyond a shadow of any doubt that they will get where they’re going

So what’s the common denominator?

Harnessing the power of the mind to accomplish your goals.

Most of us live our present from our past. We are shaped by, and molded in the life of our past.

What if we lived our lives from our future?

What if we intentionally shaped and molded ourselves into the life we desire?

What if, instead of lamenting our past, we celebrate our future like it’s already here?

I’m talking about the future that we want to create. Not the one that is a natural extension of our past.

Life is a gift. As far as we know it, it’s the only one we have. We owe it to ourselves to live it in the best way we know how.

So the next time you find yourself using memory lane to blame your present circumstances; take a hard 180° turn and walk into your future.

A simple mind hack to get this started is to take one deep desire/want; and start to imagine it done. Not the HOW. But simply living in a future where it is a reality. If you can train your mind to spend 5-10 minutes a day in your future state, providence will start to provide the HOW.

You don’t have to worry about the HOW.

You only have to focus on the WHAT.

We don’t have to have the correct circumstances to make our dreams a reality.

We only need to have a very vivid dream.

So go ahead- dream in high definition technicolor.

Mold, Coffee and Self Love

So we discovered a leak under our kitchen sink earlier this month. Sadly we hadn’t discovered it soon enough to prevent mold. Not wanting to expose the little ones to any potential mold exposure we moved into a hotel. Luckily for us, we checked in the day before the Hill and Woolsey Fire broke out. One more day and we’d have found no hotel room. Given that we were likely here for a little of a long haul, we were very lucky to have found a two bedroom two bath suite at the local Residence Inn complete with daily breakfast included. Needless to say the kids were ecstatic.


So while on vacation I usually will indulge in drinking caffeinated coffee. You see my hubby is an amazing brewer of coffee. And well, let’s face it. Illy Italian coffee is the real deal.

So for the first 3-4 days we both woke up and enjoyed an absolutely delicious cup of coffee.

On day 5, I started to notice that I was hypersensitive to sounds. Everything was irritating me. I didn’t sleep very well that night either. Never fell into a deep sleep. I felt every toss and turn that Jason made (he obviously wasn’t sleeping well either). He was breathing too loudly, tossing too much, tugging at the sheets when he did…you get the picture- everything annoyed me.

And yet- what he was doing wasn’t new behavior. He was a super light sleeper, prone to waking up at o’dark hundred and then tossing and turning, or reading till he put himself back to sleep.

What was different was my response to it.

My response was different because I had introduced something into my chemistry that I usually never consume.

Heavily caffeinated coffee.

No noticeable difference the first couple days.

But then, the caffeine started to build up.

And started to alter my chemistry.

Which manifest in new behaviors.

Which if unchecked could have (and definitely has in the past) been unhealthy to our relationship. Staying in close quarters for an extended period of time, and going to work and continuing business as usual. It could have been disastrous!

The next day when he asked if I wanted coffee, I declined. And told him why.

Interestingly I observed that it had affected him too. Even though he DOES have caffeinated coffee daily. Just one cup of good espresso made into a short latte.

He was impatient about practically everything.

Because I had acknowledged my own irritation and recognized it early on.

Because I had checked it.

Because I had shared it with him.

I was now able to remove my emotions from the conversation and gently remind him that he too was experiencing symptoms as a result of the coffee.

His knee jerk response was ‘it’s not the coffee.’ But he knew better.

And I knew he knew.

So let’s just speculate how this would have gone down, had we NOT addressed this early on.

  • I would have woken up that first day of being irritable with very poor sleep and snapped at him for every toss and turn. I would have admonished him to be more sensitive to me. That if he couldn’t sleep, the least he could do is let ME sleep.
  • Lack of sleep would have led me to have less bandwidth to be gentle and compassionate with his impatience.
  • So when he snapped at me for the slightest, I would have snapped right back.
  • We would have likely blamed each other for whatever inconsequential thing was causing us to be irritated with each other.
  • And pretty soon, full blown war of the roses!
  • And unchecked this would have continued.
  • And in the close quarters that we are, our kids would have been fully exposed to behaviors and words from us that would have been potentially damaging.

So often in our relationships that falter we fail to be able to see our role early on to nip it in the bud. It’s so easy to assign blame to someone else or somewhere outside ourselves. Especially when life throws a curveball and we are hoisted from our comfort and regularity of actions. One of my mentors used to say ‘you can’t see your own eyebrows.’ Meaning you need others to point out certain things to you about yourself. You can’t see it for yourself.

So how do you become self-aware so that you can catch yourself in the act of being an a$$?

  1. Meditation helps you to center and ground yourself. It also helps you to not take yourself too seriously.
  1. Developing self-discipline helps you to develop body and mind awareness. This simply means having small daily actions that you do for yourself NO MATTER WHAT.
  2. Having an attitude of gratitude for the small things. Whisper thanks the next time you get a sweet parking spot. When coincidences happen, or when mold causes you to have to leave home for an extended period of time, say thank you that you caught it early enough for it to be just 3 weeks out of the house instead of 3 months. You get the idea. There’s ALWAYS a silver lining if we look for it.
  • Let’s face it we all make well intentioned resolutions for ourselves at the start of a new year. Most often these fall off before January 15. What we don’t realize is that when we allow ourselves off the hook that way (and we usually have the best of reasons) we are sending a subliminal message to ourselves that says we’re not worth it. That work, family obligations or even new volunteer efforts are more important that maintaining a commitment to ourselves. And if you think about it, that’s probably not the first time you have allowed yourself to be put on the back burner.
  • How can that be good for self esteem?

    If we’re a parent, what message are we sending our kids?

    If we’re in a partnership/marriage/relationship…how can we expect our significant other to respect us, if we don’t respect ourselves enough to follow through on our word?

    We teach people how to treat us by the way we behave.

    What are you teaching people?

    To love and respect you and acknowledge your contribution with gratitude.


    To think of you as SO dependable that you’ll do anything for them, even at the cost of your own health and sanity.

    Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It’s self love. Self love is good for you. And it’s particularly good for the people you love, the community you serve and the world you are changing.

    Forgiveness is for the Forgiver, not the Forgiven

    aquatic bloom blooming blossom

    You may remember that in August this year, I did the Ventura Storytellers Project, where I shared my story with a room full of strangers who somehow through those moments of sharing vulnerability, joy, struggle and victory became friends. One of the other storytellers was a man who shared the horribly poignant details of a terrible childhood, and yet he went on to get married, have kids and be a productive member of society. He talked about this:

    Forgiveness is for the Forgiver, not the Forgiven.

    It’s a really strong statement and one that truly gave me pause. Intellectually I could see how that was true. Forgiving someone for something that they had done to you, no matter how horrible could truly help assuage age-old, long-buried emotions, and truly help you move on.

    But, I didn’t understand it in my heart.

    Until today!

    I came across someone from my past who, for whatever reason decided that she needed to come clean to me about how she had treated me over a decade ago. This was someone I had the deepest respect and admiration for. Someone I could say was like a role model and mentor to me. She was a tough one, never shied away from doling out tough love to help me learn lessons of life. She had changed her perspective about me and therefore had changed the way she treated me through what I had perceived was no fault of mine. Or at least, none that I was aware of. She had made our relationship tenuous, but I never knew what had caused that to happen. Things got so tough, that I just had to cut her out of my life because it was affecting my health and my life. I had a little toddler at home, and couldn’t afford to be stressed out and miserable all the time. Since I couldn’t get a straight story out of her about why our relationship changed. I eventually moved on. I resented her for quite a number of years thereafter. I wondered what I had done to deserve this. I didn’t have the skills then to ask the right questions to get the story out of her, or to understand things from her perspective.

    She went on to tell me about a couple of other women in our circle. People I considered friends. Women I would have done anything for. They had colored her judgment of me by feeding her blatant lies (her words, not mine) about me. They had been literally building a case against me to drive a wedge between the two of us. And it worked like a charm. So, this woman, this second mother figure, decided that she was going to take their words as truth, and not give me a chance to tell my side of the story. Although till today I don’t know what story I would be telling. She wouldn’t tell me why they decided to do this.

    I had hairs rise on the back of my neck as I flashed back a decade and thought of these two women; both of whom I considered close friends. I had shared so many moments of vulnerability and weakness with them, I had let me guard down with them.

    You see, when I first moved to this area, I had no women friends at all. I had moved from New York to get my MBA at Pepperdine, where I had hoped to form close friendships but didn’t. I was a commuter student like most of my classmates, so while we did do things together socially, I somehow didn’t get to form much wanted long-lasting college buddy friendships. From college, I started working for a very small organization where all the other people were nearly twice my age. No opportunity to form friendships there either. So when these women started entering my life, I was ecstatic. Women friends have always been important to me as an adult, perhaps just because I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends growing up. Needless to say, I was shattered when my friend had so abruptly turned on me without any indications why.

    Now here she was; she said she had carried the hurt of this in her heart for all these years and she just needed me to know. She said she has watched me from afar, and is proud of the life I have built and the relationships I have nurtured over the years. She hopes that I would forgive her.

    Ahhhhhhh I get it now. Forgiveness is for the Forgiver, not the Forgiven.

    Yes, of course I forgave her. I had forgiven her years ago. I had made my peace. I knew that if I ever saw her again, I wouldn’t hate her, I wouldn’t wonder why, I would just embrace her as if none of that had happened.

    But she had lived with this for over a decade.

    She hadn’t forgiven herself.

    I had moved on.

    She hadn’t.

    Her heart still hurt from the role she had played in sabotaging our friendship.

    The ripple effect in my life of moving away from that relationship had been astounding.

    To say that my life flourished thereafter would be an understatement.

    I learned so much about myself through that whole process, and I also learned my boundaries.

    I learned that people will treat you the way you allow them to.

    We have to train people the way we want them to treat us.

    I learned so much about what goes into a good relationship.

    I learned about being a good friend and not being a pushover friend.

    I learned it was okay to say NO.

    I learned to say YES to myself always.

    But most of all, I learned that my gut has never let me down.

    And that in the noise of the outer voices of people’s opinions about me, I had drowned out the whisper of my inner voice; And the latter is the only one that mattered.

    So, as is always the case, the toughest critics, the biggest backstabbers, the most challenging situations are always the people, places and issues where we have the biggest breakthroughs in our lives.

    So the next time someone challenges you, irritates you, upsets you or plain annoys the heck out of you.

    Say thank you to them silently.

    Then go sit with yourself and ask yourself…

    What am I to learn from them?

    If you’re quiet enough for long enough, you’ll get an answer.

    I promise.



    Your Kids Are Watching Put On A Good Show

    So both my kids are swimming now. My 11yo is on the local swim team and swims 3x a week for 45min and my 7yo is still going through the levels classes for stroke development etc. Needless to say, their swim times DO NOT overlap and so yes, I either get to spend 3 hours at the pool or do two visits to the pool. I choose the latter. Luckily the pool is 8 minutes from home.

    My 7yo has 3 more levels to go before he can try out for swim team, and then the times should overlaps and my time spent at the pool will drop drastically.

    So last week was the end of level 3 and we waited eagerly to see if he graduated to level 4. I was sitting poolside reading (The Art of Happiness by HH Dalai Lama— highly recommend btw!) and I observed a couple sitting a couple seats over from me. He was immersed in his phone, she– absolutely gorgeous with beautiful poker straight long hair looked practically angry. Her little 6yo adorable girl was in the same class as my 7yo.

    Class ended and I asked if he graduated. He didn’t know yet. I quickly toweled him off, and he and I both skipped our way to the coach to get the verdict. “He’s really close!” She said somewhat apologetically. “Yay babe, did you hear that, you’re almost there!” Was my response. “We need to re do level 3 one more time. It’ll be done in no time!”

    We walk back to our things, I start to change him. Gorgeous long haired girl has report in hand for her 6yo and I’m dying to ask her whether she moved up. But something holds me back from being my usual social self. It’s that look.

    She still hasn’t softened her look. Uh oh, the 6yo mustn’t have graduated either. She still looks mad! Husband is still immersed in his phone.

    So after changing, we go to the entrance to register for another round of level 3. I had already registered him for level 4 in anticipation of him moving up, so I just have to move him back down to 3. Gorgeous lady is in front of me. She lets the front desk people know that she wants to register her daughter for level 4, as she has just graduated.


    Your daughter moved up, but you haven’t smiled once?

    Yes i know I’m being judgy here — I don’t know what’s going on in their lives and I ought not to make assumptions.

    I practically high-fived my boy for a job well done.

    He has come SO FAR!

    He was so intimidated by the pool. And now he’s doing dives and jumps off the diving board and even attempted the big curly slide. Something he would have NEVER done ordinarily.

    So much progress!

    I don’t care that he will redo level 3.

    It just means that he’ll excel when he gets to the next level and the next after that.

    But honestly lady!

    Smile at your kid.

    At least when you’re interacting with her.

    And definitely when she just graduated to the higher level of swim.

    This really got the wheels turning for me.

    Our kids are hyper-observant about what we do and say.

    It’s not do as I say, it’s do as I do.

    So what do you do?

    • Are they seeing/hearing you bicker a lot?
    • Do they hear you talk abruptly or rudely frequently?
    • Do you talk to your friends around them as if they aren’t there?
    • Do you complain a lot?
    • Do you cut people off or flip them off or rant in traffic?
    • How do you treat service staff?
    • Do you open doors?
    • Help little old ladies?
    • Ignore the homeless person who’s panhandling? Or use it as a point of conversation to teach them a life lesson?
    • How much do they see you on your phone? I think of this a lot– if they see me on my phone constantly- then when they do get their own phones – how can I ask them to minimize time on theirs?
    • Do they see you smile or frown a lot?

    You get the picture?

    Nature vs. Nurture here right? And in this case a little bit of both.

    If you are constantly a certain way- especially if it’s habitual – how can you expect your kids to be different?

    Kindness, smiling, managing our emotions, making good choices are all traits that can be learned. Leadership starts with leading ourselves.

    These are hard to focus on when we’re constantly tired, when we’re working long hours, when work deadlines are piling up.

    It’s easy to zone out and do what comes easiest- which is to possibly be short fused or snap or be irritable when they’re annoying you.

    But it’s in those moments in particular that we need to push past the pain of discipline and become super aware of our thoughts, words, actions and beliefs.

    After all we aren’t raising kids.

    We are raising our next generation political leaders, business owners, community advocates and professionals.

    But most of all, hopefully we are raising kind, compassionate and gentle men and women with a heart for their community and a commitment to do good in the world.

    Your kids are watching more than you know.

    Put on a good show.

    Be A Magnet

    On Thursday evening, I came home from work and kids activities feeling nauseous and barely able to lift my head for fear of throwing up. I thought it was food poisoning. I thought i would be back on my feet in 12 hours. But– i had no ‘ejections’ of any kind. Hmmm.

    Friday- I stayed home and after I got the family off to school and work, I fell back into a deep sleep for nearly 5 hours.

    My body was craving rest.

    It’s been a hectic few months– between fundraisers I have to attend, kids activities, work, business, family, it’s been nonstop.

    My 45 year old body needs attention too. Running, spinning, boot camp, yoga, dance. (More on the dance later.)

    Nutrition and hydration are always top of mind.

    I’ve been sleeping ‘fairly’ early — averaging about 6hrs 45min a night. Ok so that’s on the low side. I do make up for it by sleeping nearly 9 hours on Saturday/Sunday. Not ideal I know. Our bodies are creatures of habit and consistent good sleep is way better than inconsistent good sleep.

    So– what was this knock-me-off-my-feet episode all about?

    You see, when something like this happens to me, it’s always an opportunity to go deep and see why.

    It’s never the thing you think it is.

    It wasn’t food poisoning.

    Or even the 24 hour stomach bug that it turned out to be, complete with fever and achy body.

    It’s something more.

    It’s a message to me.

    From me.

    From my Inner Guidance System.

    It’s a message to slow down.

    Not just the outer body shell that executes all the instructions of the mind.

    Slow down the mind.

    I have meditated off and on for over 15 years now.

    But lately, the meditations were few and far between.

    The only time I was truly meditating was during the twice a week 5am walk.

    And while moving meditations are powerful.

    Your conscious mind is still activated and keeping you safe from the 21st century versions of saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. That is; fight or flight is still activated.

    It is only when sitting in what your conscious mind can consider to be a completely safe environment that it can even remotely attempt to quiet down, and allow your subconscious mind to be accessed.

    So today- after I sent my family off to their various activities.

    I sat.

    I primed my body with a powerful breathing technique by Dr. Joe Dispenza and then I meditated.

    And through my meditation this is what I received:

    Be A Magnet

    Keep your vibration high

    Keep your vision clear

    Keep your intention focused

    Keep your body nourished

    And your soul satisfied

    with the love you share

    the company you keep

    the gratitude you emanate

    Be a magnet for the best and limitless possibilities of all time.

    I came out of meditation with this profound sense of gratitude and love. I didn’t realize it but tears were streaming down my face. I had envisioned a wonderful world and it felt so real.






    So much love.

    Isn’t this what John Lennon said when he asked us to Imagine?

    Be A Magnet for all that is wonderful and good in the world.

    Take a stand for love.

    Love is truly magical.

    Why Are You on Social Media?

    apps blur button close up

    So last week, during my meditation, I had this sense that I was supposed to do a digital detox. A week of no social media, no Facebook, no Instagram, no LinkedIn etc.

    Interestingly, the first day or so was hard, just like weaning oneself off an addiction. I had distract myself so that I wouldn’t go to the apps that were second nature to check on a daily, sometimes 7-10 times a day. YIKES!

    Imagine if you did anything 7-10 times a day.
    7-10 glasses of alcohol
    7-10 cups of coffee
    7-10…well you get the picture.

    So this was really a way for me to see if I could do it.

    Cold Turkey!

    And, I have to say – I didn’t last all week.

    Now mind you, I do have to check social media for my job, as the fundraiser for a regional performing arts center, I do manage our infant social media accounts. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    So, when I would log on to check for work, I would surreptitiously check notifications but was good about NOT checking the feeds or getting lost in a the black hole of an endless, mind-numbing thumb scroll. You know what I mean! Where we just scroll after scroll after scroll to see if anything catches our eye – and then we settle on a cute cat or baby video, or worse on a rant from someone we barely know. And in that moment, because our vibration is so low, our energy is practically at an all time low, we are attracted to things/posts/videos/comments that have a low vibration themselves. Because after all, like attracts like.

    I tried to be hyper vigilant about my limited time on social media this week. What did I really miss if at all?

    And what it came down to was this:

    I missed my Facebook group, The Breathing Space – this group of like-minded souls who are committed to putting the oxygen mask on themselves first so that they can better support the people they love, the community they serve and the world they seek to change.

    • I missed my friend Donna’s uplifting quotes on Facebook. (they never cease to make me say to myself YES!! that’s exactly what I am talking about!)
    • I missed my friend Anna’s exercise and gym videos on Instagram (she inspires me so much!)
    • I missed my friend Susan’s posts who’s passion around creating and capturing memories is infectious!
    • And my friend Vickie who never ceases to make me laugh…and there were others too that make me smile on FB.

    You get the picture. I missed the personal connections and updates. The real updates. The ones that tell me what is truly going on in the lives of my friends across the country and the world.

    And THIS is why I miss and mostly want to spend time on Facebook.


    Think about it, if those friends were close by, and some of them are…we wouldn’t/don’t text, talk or visit 7-10 times a day.

    So what about social media makes us do that, and most of the time without even thinking?

    Lately, with my kids’ swim schedules I spend nearly 2 hours each day at the local swimming pool. It would be so easy to get lost in the black scroll…2 hours a day! 4 days a week.

    That’s 8 hours a week!

    That’s enough time for a very productive side hustle endeavor
    Or write a book
    Or study for a new degree
    Or take an online course
    Or walk/run/ride around the facility
    Or read a book that helps with personal or professional development

    But, the thumb scroll usually wins out when we are waiting somewhere. Because it’s easier. Because we are programmed that way. Because it’s the 21st century equivalent of 4am infomercials when we can’t sleep at night.

    So, the next time you find yourself in line somewhere, or waiting while your child is participating in their after school activity (an activity you signed them up for, to better themselves), don’t check into Facebook to see what others are doing.

    Spend that time identifying what YOU can do for YOURSELF that will better yourself.

    • Keep your sneakers in the trunk so you can walk the perimeter of the facility or field.
    • Keep a book with you at all times.
    • Find a grassy surface and do some push ups, planks or simply march in place. (yes people might think you’re nuts…or you might start a new parent club!)
    • Meditate. Yes, even in the midst of noise and bustle, you can take yourself off from the main activity, or go back to your car, and just spend 5 minutes doing some intentional breathing.
    • Plan the family’s meals for the following week and get your grocery list in order. You will be much more time and cost efficient if you do it this way.

    Make intentional times to check into Facebook and your other social media platforms so that you get your ‘fix for the day,’ but don’t let it rule your life.

    Take control back and use social media to your advantage, instead of giving the marketers, advertisers, vote-tainters exactly what they want.

    You at your lowest energy point.

    Take your energy back!

    Look Up From Your Phone

    I went to a wine walk yesterday here in Camarilllo. It was being held in our little downtown district to help bring more visitors and drive traffic into the stores. A good concept to be sure. I took an uber to get there, and had this interesting out of body observation of myself.

    I spent the entire 10 minute trip from my house to Studio Channel Islands on my phone. Not looking up once to see where we were, or even say a word to the driver.

    I had a wonderful time with some wonderful friends tasting some excellent wine and stopping into stores and businesses that I had never entered before, even though I have lived here nearly 20 years.

    In the uber on the way home, I was struck by the fact that this young man’s car contained water bottles in each of the seat pouches in front of the passengers as well as a little jar of dum dum lollipops and eclipse gum if you wanted to freshen your breath or were in need of a sweet treat.

    A small but thoughtful touch, costing less than $5.

    The young man struck up a conversation with me. I asked him what he did besides drive for uber and he let me know that he had big dreams among which were taking care of his immigrant parents. He wanted to have multiple revenue sources, he wanted to inspire people, he wanted to help people live better lives through health and fitness. He wanted a gym, a record company and a marketing and design company, all in the next decade.

    Big dreams!

    Big goals!

    Very crystal clear intentions of what he wanted.

    No 9-5 job for him.

    He was not quite 25!

    We talked about meditation then.

    He said his favorite way to meditate was to visualize his future.

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Kudos Vincent. (Yes i asked him his name)

    So often these days we hide behind our screens instead of engaging with humanity. We use it as a way to zone out, numb out, the endless black scroll on social media dulling our senses and our abilities to connect.

    We think we’re connected.

    After all we have 2,000 friends and 9,000 likes on our feed.

    But what do you REALLY know about those friends?

    Are they really friends?

    Recently someone pinged me and said- oh my goodness what a small world– we have mutual friends on FB. I stared back at her blankly– I didn’t know those people. They’re friends of friends so I didn’t reject their friend request.

    So today, or tomorrow, instead of looking into your screen, following someone’s political rant, someone’s viral video or someone’s riveting schedule as it unfolds on social media, leave your phone tucked away, pretend that you don’t have that distraction.

    And when you have a few minutes to kill in the grocery line or in an uber, just ask the person in front of you–

    So how are you?

    You might be inspired by their answer!

    Time Shows Up

    So I ran into a friend at Target yesterday. I was there shopping for home supplies and she was in line for her prescription. I walked toward her to hug her but she paused me — ‘pneumonia…’ she whispered hoarsely.

    This friend, I’ll call her ‘Kay’ is one of the most inspiring people I know. She had a vision to make a change in her community and not only did she rally the community behind her idea, she got government and community leaders behind it as well. This vision is becoming a reality. And the entire city and county in fact will benefit from Kay’s idea.

    Kay will go down in history of our area as being THE WOMAN who brought value to our kids, tourism to our area and tax dollars to our city.

    She’s my hero!

    This summer Kay’s vision moved forward very significantly. There was an outward showing for the community. The public could see this idea become a reality.

    When I saw her at the public showing- she said that her whole summer had been spent for the most part in getting ready for this preview. Her little kids, her inspiration for this vision and this idea were a big part of helping her. This was their summer.

    This woman doesn’t stop. She at everything. She’s networking, doing 1:1 visits and volunteering at places that will help increase visibility for her vision, she’s doing all the right things!


    She’s running on fumes.

    When life is that busy, it’s easy to continually put yourself on the back burner.

    Because self care feels selfish!

    I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

    I’ll rest after my vision is a reality.

    I can’t let my family down.

    I can’t let my community down.

    People are expecting me to be the face of the organization/project/company.

    Sound familiar?

    Some version of this is always going through our heads.

    Until our body collapses in sheer exhaustion.

    It’s almost always the case that after a big event, project, presentation etc. we experience major exhaustion.

    Our body carries us through the process, but then the minute it’s done—



    Fatigue so deep that you can’t move.

    Complete system shut down.

    Your body has been carrying you on adrenaline the entire time.

    You’re way past normal functions, your mind is in flight or flight and fighting for survival!

    And once you release the breath breath you’ve been holding your mind recognizes that the danger is passed and it can relax.

    And it does.

    Every cell

    Every nerve ending

    Every emotion




    Takes you out of the game for a while.

    Or a long while.

    So how do you avoid complete collapse?

    Make your self care non negotiable. It doesn’t have to be complex, you don’t have to spend hours on yourself. But you can.

    Go ahead, I give you permission.

    30 minutes a day is all it can take.

    Breathe: before starting your car, take three deep breaths. Before exiting your car do it again.

    Walk: one mile can take you less than 15 minutes. If that’s not an option, find a way to move your body. Park as far from your destination as you can – and walk.

    Hydrate: (water not coffee!) aspire to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. e.g. a 130 lb person would be drinking 65oz.

    Nourish: higher intake of lean protein keeps you full longer and gives you sustained energy. A plant based protein shake blended with berries, greens and a good source of fat (think avocado or nut butter) is an ideal breakfast for the dats when you don’t have time to sit and eat a good meal.

    Sleep: 7 hours at least

    And probably the single most important thing is to have intention.

    Don’t make your self care another checklist item on your to-do list.

    Promise yourself that you will care for you.

    So that you can care for your family, community and the world.

    And yes, it feels like if you do these things for yourself you’re stealing time from other more productive things you could be doing.

    I can promise you this.


    The Arts Change Lives

    I had an interesting experience this week; we were hosting nearly 700 kids from different schools to see a puppet show production of Alice in Wonderland. Everything was ready, the stage crew were primed, the actors were in the wings and it’s 2min to show time. I get a text message from the technical director that says ‘we have a problem, we’re over capacity with the schools.’ One of the schools on the list was supposed to be there at 11:30am but had shown up early.

    They had already been seated and I had the unpleasant task of asking them (60 kids and 7 adults) to leave their seats.

    It further turns out that they were there at the right time but I had inadvertently put them on the later time slot therefore throwing everyone and everything into a state of confusion.

    They weren’t going to stay or come back for the next show because it interfered with their lunch time.

    The idea of all those kids being disappointed- after looking forward to seeing the show for possibly weeks was too much to bear. I begged the teacher to get approval to stay and play in the park below and that I would run out an get lunch for them all.

    Apparently trying to source lunch for 70 at 10:30am is not an easy task. I called three pizza places who all said it would take over an hour. I didn’t have an hour. I had to get them show ready in an hour, which meant I had 40min to get them food and eating so that they could be done by 11:30am in time for the next performance.

    Luckily I called a Subway who couldn’t accommodate but was happy to help me find one that could. And within minutes I was on my way to 501 S Reino Road, Newbury Park, CA where the store manager and his one employee were furiously making and wrapping sandwiches for me. They gave me a box to put the chips together and before long they sent me on my way. It was already 11am when I left the store.

    11:08am: I call my colleagues at work and ask their help to get the trolleys down to where would make the most sense to unload the boxes of cookies, chips and sandwiches.

    11:11am: I pull up, my colleagues are just arriving with the trolleys – we unload, and quickly line the kids up to get their sandwiches, chips and cookie.

    11:26am: technical director calls to get a status update. “We’ll be there in 4 min.” Now mind you these are 2nd graders we’re talking about – no way to move them at our pace. They have their own pace.

    11:31am: we have to start moving I tell a teacher– she starts the process of corralling all the kids and counting them to ensure no kid has wandered off.

    We start walking up the ramp and of course have to stop for bathroom and water. More counting.

    11:35am: we’re now within yards of the stairs toward the theatre, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel but we still have to get there.

    One of the teachers says that she has a student who’s having a bit of a melt down.

    I try and talk to him, to see if he’s excited about the theatre–


    Does he want to stay back with me and not go in?


    Is he happy to be with his friends? NO!

    I tell him I would be mad too if I had to be on time only to have to wait for nearly 2 hours before I can finally watch the show. I should say too that he refused to eat a sandwich or cookie. And I think only grudgingly ate a bag of chips.

    11:40am Finally we’re moving down the stairs and into the theatre. I make my way backstage to do the welcome announcement and apologize to the waiting audience for the slight delay. The house lights go dim, and it’s show time.

    The show is wonderful. The message is positive! It’s about recognizing that your thoughts have power and you you have the ability to rearrange what you think, feel and say which then can change the outcome of your life. So watch what you say to yourself.

    After the show we stood waiting as the kids filed out of the theatre. I was particularly waiting for that young boy to see how he felt now.

    I saw him come skipping down the hallway and break into a dance move as he went on by.

    Did you enjoy the show? I asked.

    Yes, it was awesome! He effervescently responded.

    Do you want a picture with the actors? Alice was still in costume.

    Oh, yes please he responded with a huge smile and quickly ran up to hug Alice and stand next to her.

    Mission accomplished!

    This is what it’s all about.

    The arts change lives.

    One experience, one exposure and the whole attitude can be shifted.

    Exercise is Poetry of the Body

    Exercise moves your physical body and occupies your human mind for you cannot exercise and think about anything other than what you are doing for fear of injury. Stay focused. Exercise helps you engage all parts of your body and mind and get them working in unison in a way that few other activities can do. Exercise is the execution of God-consciousness. It is poetry of the body just as meditation is poetry of the soul.